Library encourages enrollment in September

The Manistee County Library is participating in a nationwide effort to increase library card sign-ups in September. (Courtesy Photo)

MANISTEE COUNTY — September is Library Card Sign Up month and the Manistee County Library is encouraging residents to enroll.

“We’re always welcoming new people but it’s a national (sign-up) month to make sure that people who don’t have a card know what the benefits are,” said Julie Cirone, assistant director. “We’re just looking for anyone who may not already be a member to welcome them and let them know we have all this stuff for you and invite them to take advantage of it.”

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year.

During the month, the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries unite in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card.

A press release from the ALA states that a library card represents the first step toward academic achievement and lifelong learning, and that studies show children who utilize the library perform better in school.

While the library is known for book lending, Cirone stressed the variety of additional services and activities they offer.

“Everyone knows we have books, but people might not know about other things that we have,” Cirone said. “We have programs for children, teens and adults. We’ve done things for seniors and people with special needs. Our goal doesn’t change that often. We really just want to invite people to the library and use our services. Our services change all the time. We’re always adding new things and libraries are constantly evolving.”

Laurel Sproul, youth services coordinator at Manistee County Library hosts the “Storytime” series, one of several regular activities provided by the library. (Scott Fraley/News Advocate)

The library card grants access to a collection of nearly 100,000 materials including books, audiobooks, magazines, movies, music, video games and more.

“If there’s something that you want on the shelf and you don’t find it, we’re also part of a network of 400 other libraries, so the chances of us being able to get it to you for free are very good,” Cirone said.

The library also offers tools to members of the community, including fax and copy services, free WiFi and over 40 computer systems intended for public use.

According to Cirone, the Manistee County Library offers some surprising services as well, such as a free genealogical tool provided by ancestry.com and digital rentals through apps like hoopla.

The county library system offers locations in Arcadia, Bear Lake, Kaleva, Onekama and Wellston, with the main branch located at 95 Maple St. in Manistee.

The Manistee County Library is participating in a nationwide effort to increase library card sign-ups in September. (Courtesy Photo)

“One of the things that is unique about the library system in Manistee is we have a lot of locations for the size of our county,” Cirone said. “It really helps people in the county when they can go to their local library for the same level of service that they would get in Manistee. Everything that we do here we do out in the community too. So we have seperate events for Onekama; separate events for Kaleva — It was very important for us to provide equal service to our entire area.”

Library cards are free to all Michigan residents and property owners. Simply bring in proof of your current address to get a card.

For more information about how to sign up for a library card, visit your local branch of the Manistee County Public Library in person or online at www.manisteelibrary.org.

Leave a Reply